The spiritual intention of the operator being thus determined, his next step was the acquisition of the mental attitude appropriate to his future work. We may picture him in the traditional state of the sorcerer--poor, proscribed, envious, ambitious, and having no capacity for legitimate enterprises, Unable to earn money, he hankers after hidden treasures, and haunts those spots up and down the country-side which are reputed to conceal them. He has done this presumably for
a long time before determining to betake himself to Magic, but the earth will not yield up her hoards, for the gnomes and the Earth-Spirits, the Alastors and the Demons of the Solitudes, stand guard over the secrets of dead misers when the human ghost has ceased to walk in the neighbourhood. He does not long hesitate when he learns that the Grimoires of Black Magic are full of darksome rites and fell, mysterious words which compel or expel those guardians. The Church and State may threaten him with a fire for his flesh and a fire for his soul, but by watchfulness and secrecy he hopes to elude the one, and the other is a distant danger. Obviously, however, in order to reach his determination, he must arm himself with intrepidity and prudence, and this is the first counsel of his guides to the Sanctum Regnum of Goëtia.
"O men! O impotent mortals!" cries the author of the Grand Grimoire, 1 "tremble at your own temerity when you blindly aspire to the possession of a science so profound. Lift up your minds beyond your limited sphere, and learn of me that before you undertake anything it is necessary that you should become firm and immovable, besides being scrupulously attentive in the exact observation, step by step, of all things whatsoever that I shall tell you, without which precautions every operation will turn to your disadvantage, confusion and total destruction; while, on the contrary, by following my injunctions with precision, you will rise from your meanness and poverty, achieving a complete success in all your enterprises. Arm yourselves, therefore, with intrepidity, prudence, wisdom and virtue, as qualifications for this grand and illimitable work, in which I have passed sixty-and-seven years, toiling night and day for the attainment of success in so sublime an object." 2
One would think that there were shorter roads to wealth and the satisfaction of the other common appetites.
143:1 Book I. c. 2.
143:2 The speaker is pseudo-Solomon.